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Old 07-09-2013, 03:08 PM   #46
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Day 7 – Thursday, June 13

We got an early start to the day with our bags out at 8 am. We wandered the lodge a bit, picking up a light breakfast before boarding our bus at 9:45. We hit the road on the way to Seward. Bill was a great driver and the drive was uneventful, even though there was a lot of road construction. Since the road was two lane, that meant we sat at a standstill from time to time. That road construction is quite normal, since the weather only allows a short time frame for road maintenance. The route is extremely scenic and beautiful. I heard from some that it is really one of the best legs of the Alaskan Train ride. We arrived in Seward around noon. Bill drove us around downtown a bit, while Patricia pointed out several sites. We soon unloaded at the harbor with about 1 ˝ hours to wander around and get some lunch.

We then boarded a boat for a 3 hour wildlife tour of Resurrection Bay. The weather was drizzly and cool for the first time on our vacation, but the boat was enclosed so quite comfortable. I did go out on the bow several times for picture taking. Humpbacks, sea lions, porpoises, eagles, puffins and gulls galore entertained us. Unfortunately, my pictures of the whales and eagles weren’t very clear.


This short video shows just how noisy the birds were at the rocks. The captain encouraged us to go out and take pictures with the warning, “Be careful if you look up!”


After returning from our boat ride, we boarded our bus and headed to the Seward Windsong Lodge. It was a lovely, somewhat rustic, place with numerous lodges scattered in the woods. We were in the Elderberry Lodge. This resort was also without air conditioning, but because the lodge was tucked in the woods and the weather had been particularly cool today, it wasn’t missed at all. We had a really nice little balcony that overlooked the woods. There was a sliding screen door, so we could open it if we wanted to cool the room.


The weather had cleared by this time, and the air was very clean, making it very nice to walk through the woods to the restaurant. We were right across the road from the river. I had salmon on my salad tonight, which was supposed to be from that river. Of course, the salmon hadn’t really started to run this year, so I don’t know if it was really from there or not.

After dinner we headed back to the room to settle in. We had all of our luggage returned to us tonight, so we could tag it with our cruise tags, as tomorrow we board the ship. Lauren and Jon had been traveling to Alaska today. We got a text from them at about 11 pm that they were in Anchorage. They would be taking a shuttle to Seward and the ship tomorrow.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:59 PM   #47
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Wonderful two days! Love the wildlife at both Anchorage and Seward!
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #48
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Those birds are making such a racket!! A nice day before the cruise.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:03 PM   #49
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....even though there was a lot of road construction. Since the road was two lane, that meant we sat at a standstill from time to time. That road construction is quite normal, since the weather only allows a short time frame for road maintenance.
Long time Alaskans often joke that we have only three seasons.....Winter, Break up and Construction! Unfortunately that's actually a pretty accurate description!
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:33 PM   #50
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Great photos of the birds. Would love to get to Seward and the surrounding area some day.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #51
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Great pictures!
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #52
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Wonderful two days! Love the wildlife at both Anchorage and Seward!
It was really fun to see all the wildlife.

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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
Those birds are making such a racket!! A nice day before the cruise.
Weren't they, though! You could also hear the sea lions along with the birds at times.

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Originally Posted by jenifermg0 View Post
Long time Alaskans often joke that we have only three seasons.....Winter, Break up and Construction! Unfortunately that's actually a pretty accurate description!


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Originally Posted by shazza View Post
Great photos of the birds. Would love to get to Seward and the surrounding area some day.
It is a beautiful area. We could have spent more time there, I think.

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Great pictures!
Thanks,
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:27 PM   #53
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Day 8 – Friday, June 14

Today we slept in and snacked in the room for breakfast. Our bags were out around 11 for a truck pickup and delivery to the ship. We gathered in the lobby and loaded up with Bill on Sanford for one last time. We were expected at the ship around 1, so Patricia and Bill had decided to take us to Exit Glacier, before heading to the ship. Our hotel was actually on Exit Glacier road so it wasn’t too far away. We spent about 45 min. there and took the short hike to the best viewing area. It was another beautiful day and the glacier was quite nice.


After that we headed to the ship, the Celebrity Millineum. We said our good-byes to Patricia and Bill. They had given us a terrific first week’s tour and we were most appreciative. We headed into the small terminal and got through the lines quickly. Soon we were on the ship.


We have never sailed on Celebrity before, only Disney and Royal Caribbean. This was a nice ship, but not nearly as elegant as either of the others. We were trying them for two reasons. First, we have been disappointed by food on both the others recently and had heard Celebrity had really good food. Secondly, we liked the specific itinerary and cost. Since we had originally planned 3 staterooms (all balconies) and DH and I were paying for it all, we were trying to keep the budget in mind. We were in room 9173, which had a slightly larger balcony due to the configuration of the ship. Lauren and Jon were just down the hall in 9161. This is the top stateroom deck on this ship. It was directly below the kitchens from the all day buffet restaurant. There were times when we heard a lot of rolling carts, but it really wasn’t that bad. I might also add that because deck 10 was cantilevered out wider than the rest of the ship, the braces for that deck impeded a bit of the view from the balcony if you looked in certain directions. If we sail on this ship again, I will opt for deck 8.

We really didn’t do much this afternoon, but get settled in. After we had lunch at the buffet, we headed to our room, which was available. Most of our luggage arrived quickly and we unpacked and checked things out. We were doing My Time Dining and I had made reservations for 7 for each night. When I looked at the daily newsletter, I noticed that the muster was scheduled for 7:30. Oops, that’s not going to work. I headed down to the restaurant and got us rescheduled for 8:15, which was the first time open after the drill. Lauren and Jon were taking a bus down from Anchorage to the ship and were projected to arrive around 4. They finally got there at 6! It was a happy reunion. They showered and changed clothes. At 7:30 we headed to the lounge where we were mustering. It was rather chaotic. They checked your cabin number off as you came into the room. We all hung out together there until we were finally set free. We headed straight across the “hallway” to the restaurant for dinner.

We had a beautiful window table to watch as we sailed away. The food was indeed quite good, but we encountered the first situation of what was to be a recurring theme—bad service! Our wine sommelier was excellent and she followed us all week to help with our package. Everyone except me signed up with her for a wine tasting the next day. (I don’t drink.) Our server and assistant were lousy. There was no introduction of the menu, and it took me forever to get my iced tea. As I said, though, the food was good and we enjoyed our meal and our first night of the cruise.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:41 PM   #54
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Great pics from Exit Glacier! Sorry to hear about the bad service already on the ship!
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:18 PM   #55
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Great pics from Exit Glacier! Sorry to hear about the bad service already on the ship!
Thanks. Unfortunately, the bad service was an ongoing scenario in a lot of areas.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:38 AM   #56
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Glad the food was good, but sorry about the service.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:06 AM   #57
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The glacier photos are beautiful. Too bad about the service on the ship. Celebrity has such a good reputation for food I assumed the service would follow.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #58
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Agree - great photos of the Glacier, and too darned bad about the service.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:46 PM   #59
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Exit Glacier is beautiful! Glad the food is better, but sorry about the poor service!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:46 PM   #60
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Signing on, I've been loving your TR so far. An Alaskan cruise is on my bucket list and I hope to do it within the next few years. Sorry to hear about your poor service. We sailed on Celebrity about 10 years ago (I forget which ship, maybe Galaxy?) anyway, it was great service. However, a lot can change in 10 years.
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